Committee to study population growth challenges, says FM

India last year surpassed China to become the world’s most populous country

Shashank Mattoo, Vaageesh Thirumalai
First Published1 Feb 2024, 07:31 PM IST
India's last census was carried out in 2011, when the country's population was estimated to be about 1.2 billion. (Mint)
India’s last census was carried out in 2011, when the country’s population was estimated to be about 1.2 billion. (Mint)( )

The government will establish a committee to understand challenges created by fast population growth, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during the course of her interim budget speech on Thursday.

“The government will form a high-powered committee for an extensive consideration of the challenges arising from fast population growth and demographic changes,” Sitharaman said in her remarks.

The committee will be tasked with providing recommendations to overcome these challenges. However, the government did not provide further details, including the timeline of the committee’s work, during a press conference held after the presentation of the interim budget.

“This committee will have the mandate to have an extensive consideration of those challenges and come out with a specific set of recommendations,” economic affairs secretary Ajay Seth said at a press briefing after the interim budget was presented. 

Seth did not specifically comment on a question about whether the committee’s mandate would resemble a population control bill. He stated that the terms of reference will be released in due course.

Per the United Nation’s estimate, India surpassed China to become the world’s most populous country in April 2023. While China’s population size peaked in 2022, it has fallen subsequently and is expected to fall below 1 billion by the end of the century. 

Meanwhile, India’s population will continue to grow over the coming decades, with individuals under 35 forming a large part of its population.

“India has the largest youth population in the world; around 66% of the total population (more than 808 million) is below the age of 35,” according to the International Labour Organisation. 

The organisation’s figures also indicate that India’s workforce is expected to grow by 8 million persons per annum over the next decade.

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First Published:1 Feb 2024, 07:31 PM IST
HomeNewsCommittee to study population growth challenges, says FM

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